Buffalo vs. Bison: What's the Difference?

American BuffaloMany people in the American West think the bison and the buffalo are the same but we are talking about two different animals here. Bison and buffalo are related in the sense that they are members of the same family. Both animals belong to the bovidae family as do other animals like the musk oxen and domestic cattle. The bison and the buffalo have many things in common but there are some differences between the former and the latter. Some of these differences are discussed below.

Understanding the buffalo
The buffalo falls into two main categories and these are the Water Buffalo and the Cape Buffalo. The water buffalo is also called the domesticated Asian Buffalo and it is found in Asia, North Africa and Southern Europe. The Cape Buffalo is found in the grasslands of sub-Saharan Africa and it is also called "Syncerus caffer". These animals can be found in west Africa and along the plains of southern and eastern Africa. Some of them have been domesticated for years and are valued for buffalo meat, milk and hide. It is also possible to find the Cape buffalo in the wild. These animals are dangerous and can gore people with their sharp horns.

Understanding the bison
The natural habitat of the bison covers most of the United States, southern Canada and northern Mexico. The two most popular categories of bison are the Wood Bison and the Plains Bison. These animals were nearly hunted to extinction by some of the first white settlers in the Americas but the bison survived and can still be found in many parts of US today. Apart from the bison native to the Americas, some bison are native to Europe. Water BuffaloThe bison have been domesticated for thousands of years by American farmers and are raised for bison meat and hide. According to bison facts, this animal is also raised for tourist value.

Differences between the bison and the buffalo
As stated already both animals are bovids but there are differences in physical appearance. Generally, the buffalo has a larger body than the bison. The buffalo also has a bigger horn and a much bigger head than the American bison. The buffalo also has a smooth coat while the bison has shaggy winter coat. The bison has short and stocky legs, a short horn and a hump on its back.

Final word
Here at Yankee Farmer's Market we raise pasture-raised American Bison. It's the natural, delicious choice for health conscious individuals and beef lovers everywhere.